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Beijing lifts COVID restrictions


2022-06-06 09:03:05

A resident takes a COVID-19 nucleic acid test at a testing point in Fengtai district of Beijing, May 16, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)

Shanghai reports scattered infections, which points to continued risk in the city

Beijing announced it would lift a series of COVID-19 restrictions starting on Monday based on improvements in the epidemic situation, bringing the lives of people back closer to normalcy.

Xu Hejian, spokesman for the city government, said at a news conference on Sunday that except in Fengtai district and some places in Changping district, where the strict measures would continue, all city restaurants can resume dine-in services on Monday.

Wang Yuanlong, a 32-year-old resident in Chaoyang district, was excited about the news, saying: "It will bring back lots of happiness. Even though we could order takeout food during the past weeks, it"s still quite different to have a decent meal with friends and family in a restaurant."

"Plus, I haven"t taken my girlfriend out to dine for a long time because of the outbreak. I"m looking forward to having dates with her in our favorite restaurants soon."

People can also go back to their workplaces starting on Monday after several weeks of working from home. All public transportation such as buses, subways and taxis will resume normal operations. They will require negative nucleic acid test results taken within 72 hours-24 hours longer than the previous requirement.

All delivery people can enter residential communities and villages as needed for work beginning on Monday. "For most people going to workplaces, doing the job means more income. I believe people are glad to hear this," Wang said. During the outbreak, many districts asked residents to work from home to reduce the risk of infection.

In addition to seniors in high school who have already been back on campus since June 2, students in all other grades can go back to campus for classes starting on June 13.Children in kindergarten can return to campus starting on June 20.

People who live in Hebei province and commute to Beijing can resume their daily commute on Monday, with negative nucleic acid test results taken within 48 hours required for their first entry. Results taken within 72 hours are needed the next time they enter Beijing.

Beijing reported five new locally transmitted cases as of 3 pm on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 1,822 since April 22, Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said on Sunday, adding that all the infections were reported in quarantined locations.

Shanghai reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and an asymptomatic infection, the city government said late Sunday.

Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said that since the city resumed work and production on June 1, the flow of people has increased. Scattered infections in communities have been reported, which showed that there is still a risk of epidemic rebound, he said.

"We"ll stick to the dynamic zero-COVID policy and improve our early warning, prediction and prevention capabilities to minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development," he said.

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